According to the latest research from AMI Consulting, the world market for biaxially orientated polypropylene films reached over 3Mt for the first time in 2001. In the last 25 years, BOPP has grown from a specialist replacement for cellulose film accounting for a volume usage of less than 250,000t, to one of the leading flexible plastics packaging materials.

The industry enjoyed annual increases in BOPP film use of around 10 per cent through most of the 1990s, and the market is still forecast to grow at seven per cent per year.

China will continue to be one of the more dynamic markets, says AMI. Already the largest in the world, in terms of both production and consumption, its demand is forecast to grow by over 9 per cent/year, to reach nearly 5.7Mt in 2010. Growth in the USA, Western Europe and Japan is expected to average rates of four to six per cent in the same period.

Further information from Andrew Reynolds,